Arc 1 – Lost
Ch. 10 – The Beast Knight
Within mere moments, the lion’s fur sizzled, and the irritating smell of burnt skin pinched my nose. My face contorted with disgust and dread.
An explosion followed, splattering every wall with yellow and orange as if buckets of paint had been thrown at a gray canvas. The charred smell of skin was replaced by the sulphur of parched rocks as I was shoved onto the ground face-first by the shockwaves.
Air was forced out of my body instantly, suffocating me. My lungs desperately clung to the remnants of what little air I had, and searched for more. I was fish out of water.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the wolves carrying their cub to a safer place. I couldn’t blame them for taking care of their defenseless offspring. It was the correct decision.
I mustered every bit of strength I had and looked in front of me. Trails of smoke danced across the room, looking like dragon’s tails. I traced them to their source, eventually coming to an understanding: the lion had crashed into the wall, with debris occasionally falling onto the floor like drops of rain in a storm.
Steps echoed through the room as a figure emerged from the corner of my vision. Nothing but the rhythmic pacing of that person resounded throughout the room.
As he approached the lion, the gems’ lighting illuminated his features one by one. A pitch-black leather cape was covered in stitches, yet it seemed so taken care of. Without seeing his face, I could tell that he fought countless battles with it. Maybe it held some emotional meaning for him?
Shining silver pauldrons protected his shoulders. The streaks of light glimmered against their carved design: a dragon with a wrathful expression and open jaws, about to bite a familiar-looking crest. They seemed as if they were very recently forged.
He wore light armor covered in black, adorned with red in every part of it. They also looked recently forged. A chest-long silver breastplate with the same carvings as the pauldrons protected him from . Hanging from his waist, an empty black scabbard waved back and forth with every step he took.
In one hand, he wielded a broadsword. Its grip was covered in bandages while its pommel and the rectangular crossguard of the sword were coated in silver.
Everything I saw led me to one conclusion…
“A Beast… Knight…”
I unconsciously whispered between heavy breaths.
When he reached reaching the lion, he stopped dead in his tracks. Leering at the Beast with a sharp gaze, he gripped the sword tightly and was about to slice its neck—
—But with a deafening roar of defiance, the lion rose from the crater in the wall and without wasting a second, clawed at the knight.
With a single movement from his arm, he deflected the Beast’s impetus: his sword clanged against the rock-hard claws of the lion. The air pressure from the clash fluttered his cape and ruffled his spiked short hair.
His expression was composed and solemn. He had fought in countless battles against titanic Beasts in perilous situations. There was no possibility of him cowering in fear – but how much did he pay for that courage? How many times had he gotten pummeled onto the ground for him to be able to stand so fearlessly in front of such threats now? I couldn’t hope to know.
The Beast began to barrage him with his claws. It was slow, but the strength behind them was so immense that the ground trembled. The sheer amount of impact that he was receiving only increased by the second. He kept effortlessly parrying the attacks with his sword. It looked like he was having a taste of the lion before finishing the fight.
For a moment, I questioned how I managed to escape that thing and how I did not die. A piece of my memory felt amiss like it was stolen from my mind, yet I couldn’t bring into words.
“Strength. It’s all you have.”
His sword clanged against the lion’s claws for the last time. With a lightning-quick parry, he pushed away the foreleg of the Beast and thrust his blade, piercing the stomach of the lion, like a knife cutting bread.
He twisted the sword inside the Beast’s stomach and—
—Sparks burst from his unused hand, and like a volcano erupting, flames shot from his palm. A huge screen of fire covered the lion, spreading from its stomach and touching the ceiling behind it.
Those flames burned brighter than the wolves. They were bluer, purer. If I crawled just a bit closer to them, I knew I’d be instantly turned to ashes. The unbearable hell of flames dampened my body with sweat.
As the knight pulled his sword from the wildfire, the blaze that enveloped the Beast was extinguished at once. There was no lion anymore, just a pile of charcoal lying on the ground.
My mouth lay agape and my eyes were stuck in place. A true Beast Knight had fought right in front of me. His armor was glorious, and the scarred cape he wore fluttered with experience and power.
I faced the very definition of a Beast Knight: Power, honor, and righteousness. Those who protected the Kingdom and its people while brandishing unwavering strength.
The knight suddenly whistled, and from one of the corners of the cave, a scarlet Dragon emerged. His stride was prideful, and his gaze was ancient. One of the strongest Beasts known to men stood by the knight.
He turned to me, and it all clicked.
Hair as black as obsidian and eyes as red as molten lava. Dragons feared him, and nobles sang songs about him. There was only one Beast Knight like that. Someone that had carved his name in history as the strongest of all, and not just in the present, but in the entire history of Ephastos.
“The Crimson Dragon.”
Sorry for not updating recently. This week has been pretty hectic for me, and Xaga was really occupied.
Anyhow, I’m happy I can update this series again!
Also, the schedule will change from now on:
> Updates every Saturday <